Saturday, February 14, 2015

Pow! Wow! Hawai'i and The Joys of Being "On The Beach"

Here I am, in Honolulu again, living in the doghouse and waiting for a ship... what that means for me is lots and lots of walking.

I wake up and hit "the coffee shop" (the place I have found to hang this time is the Fresh Cafe), writing until I have to pack up and get back to the union hall for job-call at 1030, then I find another shop or go back to the Fresh Cafe and write some more, eat some lunch, and then race back to the union hall for the second job-call of the day at 1400.  Afterward I might catch a movie or do something physical, find some dinner, and then go back to the doghouse to watch netflix on my phone until time to sleep.

I threw down for standby work on the Manoa and scored a day of work for Sunday, but so far no ships... the west coast longshoremen's slowdown has the prospects of catching a ship a little less than certain at the moment.

So when I'm walking around I listen to audio books of stuff I've already read but enjoyed enough to "reread" (currently Neal Stephenson, King of the Vagabonds) and looking for interesting stuff to stick my nose into.

Interestingly enough, I have found myself in the middle of an art festival called "Pow! Wow! Hawai'i" and I couldn't be happier about it.  The festival involves teams of street artists making gigantic murals on the blank walls of industrial buildings in a formerly uninteresting part of town between downtown Honolulu and Waikiki.

Some is graffiti art.  Some is graphical art.  All of it is visually arresting and has filled a shitty part of town with a hubbub of activity involving artists with scissor lifts, ladders, camera drones and teams of camera wielding photographers, and energy.  Anywhere I look there are gawkers of every sort, from suprised delivery drivers and commuters, tourists on foot with cameras, to large flocks of art students, clogging what were barren streets.  It is fascinating that energy and interest alone has revitalized a utilitarian part of town, making it a place people want to be, using nothing more than organized creativity and paint.  The only thing missing is live music... now THAT would put this over the top.

This one is completely hidden- I found it by walking into a parking area with no other access.

This is one of the first ones I discovered.  Love it.

This kind of graphic is everywhere- they're my least favorite Banksy-inspired stencil copy, but having said that, they greatly improve the blank wall and add motion to the otherwise life-leeching vacuum of stagnation.

Elvis in Hawaii makes him look Hawaiian.

Another dead-end parking lot.

If you have a pair of 3d glasses, this entire mural is 3d!  As the artist was painting, his wife was passing out glasses to anyone who stopped to look.  This type of 3d works by color wavelength and even works when looking at a photograph of the art... 

I have watched, curiously, as this one has taken form... I'll have to check it again today.  As you can tell by the people in the bottom left of the photo, this mural is sizable.

This entire abandoned building has been covered with graffiti art.  Here it is in process.

Just a random detail next to the artist's info.

Epic tag. 
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Honolulu's innumerable homeless live everywhere, and in this case, make up part of the urban scape emphasizing the subject matter of this panel. 

Incomplete detail.

This was added to an abandoned bookmobile.

Epic tag.

Hidden on the back of an abandoned building.

A tag on the hoarding around a jobsite. 

"How dare they defile my dumpster!"

Here you can see some of last year's work being covered with this year's work.  

In process.

This corner now has a reason.  It is now a place.

In process.

This is the mural adorning the building I'm in now (the Fresh Cafe) as of several days ago.  The scaffolding is still up and they're still working on it.